The Moluccas

Talking about Maluku or Moluccas, cannot be separated from its history about spice trading. Tang Dynasti has visited Molluccas since 7th century to search spices. These Chinese traders tried to keep secret about how rich the Maluku in that time in order to avoid other overseas traders from coming to Maluku. Nevertheless on 9thcentury Arab traders accidentally found Maluku after being oscillated at sea on their voyage on Indian Ocean. Aftwards on 14th century was the era of spice trading on Middle East which also brought Islam into Molluccas through Aceh, Malacca and Gresik in East Java.

Portuguese is the first Eurpean came to Maluku in 1512 with two vessels under commander Anthony d’Abreu and Fransisco Serau. Since then Portuguese stick their claws on spice trade monopoly until war with Babullah Sultanate broke and opened the gate for Duth to come and take over the monopoly through VOC.

Maluku lies in the transition between Asiatic and Australian with tropical climate. It gives Maluku uniqueness in wildlife such as wallaby, cuscus, butterflies and a number endemic birds and orchid. Maluku is also like a transition zone for the human distribution in Indonesian archiphelago where today can be found on Obi Island on the southern Halmahera. Maluku also has uniqueness in culture and ethnic. There are ethnic groups that still practice traditional way of living from hunting and collecting forest product still exist in Maluku nowadays such as Naulu People on Seram island and Togutil People inhabit the northeastern Halmahera.

There are more or less  1,000 islands or about 74.500 square kilometers in total. There are less than 1.7 million people dwell in the whole islands. Some major islands in Maluku are Yamdena, Kai, Saparua, Buru, Seram, Bacan, Obi, Halmahera, Tidore, and Morotai plus other smaller islands which form the cluster of Maluku Islands. Maluku today is divided into two provinces, Maluku with Ambon as its capital and Northern Maluku with Ternate as its capital. Maluku is also within the volcanic belt in Indonesia archipelago. Besides contributing to the destruction in several areas when earthquake and volcanic eruption occurs, it also give prosperity to the land on the region.

Although the era of spice trading has passed but clove and nutmeg still contribute for economic development in the region. Agriculture, fishing industry, plantation, mining and tourism are amongst other incomes that support the region economic. Tourism in Maluku has developed for the last decades. Visitors come to the region to explore its marine park, diversity of its wildlife and culture.